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smcgreg last won the day on January 25 2021

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  1. As an update, the package I ordered from Seattle on Nov 18, which was shipped Nov 23 (USA Flat rate (3 days))...... just arrived at my door. Only 2+ months for 3 day... nice. I had written it off though, so, I guess I should be happy it showed up at all.
  2. OGs? Heck, haven't seen those for years. I think his last pair were Mako IIs. He's had M7 and M8s as has my daughter. His last pair was actually a pair I had in reserve for myself, which he got, because TFs were not available yet and he needed new skates pronto. I believe they are MIIs. The current ones I'm using are on their last leg, so, given the path we've gone down with him, I'm thinking I might give the TF7s a try for myself. My modifications are much more substantial than his though, so, I'm not enthused about starting from scratch. It's the journey that makes it interesting though, right? ...
  3. This is actually relevant to the points I made with the TF9 comparison I made earlier. One of the most striking comments/observations my son made was, the second time he wore them (1st profile after the initial skate) was in an evaluation camp where he wore the TF9s for two back to back games. This was a risk, but his Makos were hurting his feet so bad we didn't think he could make it through two full games, so, wanted one game to adapt before leaving the final impression in the second game. He had played a game the day before and could barely skate at the end his feet were hurting so bad. As I noted in my comments up the thread, he looked observably faster to me. I could tell he was unsure in them and playing conservative so as not to trip over himself, but still, by the second game was rushing full ice and jumping in the O zone. Anyway, when he came out to the car, aside from the speed comment, he said he felt less tired after two games in the TF9s than one game in the Makos. Again, not sure where the energy losses were coming from, but there certainly were energy losses. The Mako is a pretty darn soft boot.
  4. I'll leave the Lieberman reference alone.... That's a huge can of worms. Regardless, I really don't think instrumented treadmills are necessary to get to the answer and in fact, would be more challenging to get a satisfactory answer than some simpler alternatives. As I say, I know quite a lot of elite players and can deduct broad principles from that data I have. Alternatively, some simple, well conducted on-ice testing could get to the answer as well. As I alluded to earlier in the thread, we were going to do some of it with my son after making the changes, but he's absolutely convinced in the set up he wants now and any amount of testing I do won't make a bit of difference. That's another thing about hockey, the mental piece is huge and if you make a change that the athlete perceives reduces performance, it will affect confidence to the point that it will likely reduce performance regardless. A self-fulfilling prophecy or a negative placebo effect if you will. Anyway, thanks for the feedback. We've gotten far enough off of the topic, we probably should leave it at this point.
  5. Of course, but there are many instances where that is not going to be the case or even possible. Look at it this way, there are some very explosive fast skaters that have absolutely atrocious skating mechanics. Why? because 1) they simply produce a lot of power and 2) they have a "tight" system that allows that power to be transferred. On the other hand, you can have players with very good mechanics who are simply not explosive, why? because 1) they simply don't produce a lot of power.... well, that's it. Can, the latter case overcome the former, sometimes, there are a lot of variables at play in the game of hockey. Ideally, you want to produce lots of power AND have good mechanics. Anyway, I get both of your points now and agree for the most part, but also will point out, it's simply not possible to have a perfect angle of attack and therefore zero power loss under all circumstances no matter how good your mechanics are and how much you practice. Again, not arguing ankle flexibilty isn't important or that lacing low is good if you can do it,... but.... you will compromise power transfer in some contexts, you just will.
  6. OK, I see where you're coming from, but in contrast to the ballerina, there are several inches of holder and steel beneath the foot and knife edge interaction with the surface. There is just no way that under many circumstances, the ankle joint is not going to be a "weak link" in that power transfer system. To your point, there will be some situations where that "weak link" can be mitigated to some extent, but in the end, there will be many angles of attack between the blade and the ice where power transfer will be somewhat compromised. That's just physics/biomechanics. Don't get me wrong, again, I think agility and maneuverability trump raw speed or explosiveness in terms of being a better hockey player, but power transfer is going to be compromised under some circumstances, there's no way around it. That being said, I agree that way too many skaters just go with the stiffest boot and lace up tight to cover up skating deficiencies. I think we agree for the most part, we're just splitting some hairs on details.
  7. Hmm... I'll be honest, I don't know exactly what you're saying. That being said, I'm not sure how you can dispute that a foot that is elevated several inches off the ground, balanced on a knife edge is not going to generate more power with a "tighter", stiffer system. I suppose top end speed and even beep test times (a test of cardio vascular fitness) could be better, but raw acceleration/power, it's hard for me to envision. I think I've read your assertions about the importance of ankle strength and exercises to develop such, which would likely help, but in the end, stiffer boots and tighter connections should result in greater power transfer and everything else is an exercise to mitigate the compromise. In my son's case, he's a better, more agile player who is practically faster (I assume) in most facets with a lower lacing pattern, but has higher top end and raw acceleration laced higher. In the end, the agility and greater control with lower lacing makes him a better overall hockey player even given a bit of a compromise on speed.
  8. Watching him today at practice was awesome. Finally agile on his skates again and able to do what he used to do. On top of it, good speed that carries over with the new boots... for whatever reason. Of course, I agree with you, as I use 55Flex, or actually a leather knock off since they're out of business. From a performance standpoint, there is a tradeoff though. Too much flexibility and you lose power and explosiveness. Too little and it compromises control and agility,...at least for him and me. Finding that "sweet spot" is the trick. He certainly can take advantage of the flexibility though, as he has TF9s down two eyelets. That's crazy low lacing.
  9. Well, that's a really good question. Based on this, I measured and..... they appear to be the same. I took his word for it about the height, but it looks like the height of the cuff from the base of the outsole is the same on both skates. Then, I measured the eyelets and with it down to the second hole on the TF9s, it appears to be lower by about a half an inch. *caveat: This is measuring with a tape measure assuming the bottom of the outsole on both skates represents where the bottom of his foot is. Still, it doesn't look like there can be much difference in height of the cuff and he probably is lacing them lower than he was on the Makos. He commented on how much stiffer the boot is on the TF than the Makos, so, maybe it's not the height of the cuff, but just the sfiffness of the cuff? So, now the question is,.... would the additional (-2) profile have fixed the issue and the new lacing pattern is just allowing him to adapt to the aggressive pitch? One more relevant point here is, last year he laced the Makos an eyelet lower. He was a freshman on the varsity team the coach told him to lace them one eyelet higher because it would make him faster to keep up with the older kids. So, with the new lacing on the TFs, he's back to where he was on the Makos one year ago, which is really friggin low.. if you've ever worn Makos, but faster in the TFs for whatever reason. Anyway, ..... I guess there is no difference in cuff height between the skates, just stiffness, but lower lacing helps, for whatever reason. Friggin skating........
  10. So, would that be trying to mimic a "55 flex" thing? I loved those and still use them myself.
  11. Probably the last follow up on this for a while. The details that got us to this point are in previous posts above. In general though, decent 15 yr old moving from Makos to TF9s. The last post was referencing fixes we made to the stock profile to address his complaints after the first couple skates. After that last post we made another change to the profile and points are listed below. 1. Additional (-1) pitch. After the 2nd profile above, he still felt the pitch was too aggressive, so, we took it back another notch. This made it 10ft (- 2) pitch. After measuring it compared to his makos, it still appeared to be effectively 1/4" higher back to front compared to Makos that were -2 from stock. After this, he felt it was better, but still felt like it was "pushing him forward too much". We gave it a week to see how he adapted (skating everyday) and if no improvement would profile and take it back another (-2) to a (-4) total. This seemed very extreme to me, but given the previous changes and the existing difference between the old makos, I thought this is how we would get to where we needed to be. After 7 skates on the second profile, comments continued to be... 1) much faster in straight line open ice skating than the Makos 2) he uses a lot less energy to go faster. Consistently less tired than norma. 3) tight turns better than the Makos but.... 4) agility and footwork bad. Skates felt "heavy", "like tanks", "clumsy". So, 1)-3) are big positives, but 4) is a killer. One observation that he was getting a bit of a hot spot where the top of the cuff was rubbing above his ankle made me think of something else. He commented that the TF9s were higher than the Makos. He laced his Makos one eyelet from top, and had the TF9s one eyelet from the top. So, the last skate before we got them profiled, I asked him to drop the lacing to the 2nd eyelet down. That would make it closer to the actual Mako lacing pattern since the TF9s came up higher. My thought was, it was more the lack of fore-aft flexibility was the issue. He came off the ice and we were going to take them to my skate guy to get the profiled, he said, "don't bother, they're perfect"...... LOL..... So, one day away from going to a (-4) profile and how knows where that would have sent us. Interestingly, as I say, the (-2) is still more aggressive than the Makos we had at (-2). This is a bit surprising, since I assumed they would have a similar ptich. This is a demonstration of a couple of things 1) how important ankle flexibility and range of motion is in the anterior/posterior plane for all aspects of skating, including footwork and agility and 2) how such a minor thing like 1 eyelet lacing pattern can make an enormous difference. Not that this would be the case with everybody, but there are so many friggin variables when dialing in skates .... its' crazy. I'm still a bit surprised about the speed difference between the Makos and TF9s. I'm going to attribute it to the Makos being on their last leg. He always has rivet issues with them and I think the bottom outsole is just "worn out". There' s a lot of give around the holder and outsole and that creates loss of power transfer. Free speed though.... we'll take it! We're going to do some testing fo the lacing patterns now to quantify the differences as far as top end speed and agility since it will be a very easy change to make and he "perceives" a huge difference. I'm curious to how much of a difference it makes quantitatively. That's it for now. Hope this helps others trying to nail these skates down. No doubt they are comfy. But that stock pitch is pretty aggressive for somebody who's got an ingrained skating pattern .
  12. For now, on the 254. As I noted, his glide seemed longer and he was stable fore-aft. Going to stick with current parameters for a couple skates to see how he adapts. He doesn't feel as agile right now, so, will chip away at more low hanging fruit with the next change. First would likely be another minus 0.5 on pitch. Since he thought they felt like tanks, I didn't think a longer holder would help much.
  13. Following up to this reply to help maintain some continuity. Today, my son skated on his TF9s in two back to back games for the first time since profiling to 10 ft and -1 pitch. As a reminder, he hated the stock profile out of the box and was miserable after one stick adn pucks. As reference, he skated on his Makos in a game yesterday and decided to dive in head first for two games today for a number of reasons. This was a fairly high level skate (college recruitment), but not at the AAA 15U level. Since he skated one game yesterday, the Makos were fresh in his mind and TF9s were brand new and effectively novel to him since the profile was different. I'll break it down by things I think made a difference. 1. 10 ft radius - Much better than stock. He was visibly "teetering" back and forth on the stock profile at sticks and pucks. It was probably a combination of things, but he commented he felt like there wasn't enough steel under his toes and heels. No such comment today and no "teetering". 2. minus 1 pitch - Again, much better than stock. He commented that he still felt like he was being pushed forward a bit, but could probably get used to it. Will give it a couple more skates. Other harder to attribute observations: 3. Power transfer - He commented that he felt more powerful on them. As support, after playing two back to back games, he felt less tired than the day before playing only one game on his Makos yesterday. As corroboration, watching him, I thought he was going further on each stride. I commented on this to a friend before his comments. So, not that this would be a specific True property, I just think the Mako footbed is breaking down and he's just getting better power transfer, resulting in greater stride efficiency and less fatigue. 4. He said they feel like "tanks". Heavier, beffier, less agile. They are heavier than Makos, but as I've stated before he needs more protection, so, any more protective skate will likely be heavier. at this point, this is his only complaint and he accepts that nothing will feel like the Makos from here on out. So, need to adjust and see if he can get the agility from these on top of the other benefits. Finally, the fact that he skated two back to back games without any comfort issues in brand new skates is almost unheard of in any other brand, than Makos, I expect. The only comfort complaint was a bit of rubbing at the cuff because they come up higher than Makos. He's going to try higher socks next time to see if that fixes it, but if not, I'll heat and roll out the cuff. Still, pretty impressive to get that knid of comfort/fit for $600.
  14. Are you saying the back is 9' and the front is 10'? That seems odd. My son also felt like there was steel missing under his heel, but I thought that was because it was a standard 9'.
  15. Yet to be determined. He hasn't had a chance to skate on the new profile (10 ft -1) yet. I was hoping to get it out of the way before things picked back up, but skating got real busy again all of a sudden. So, we'll see.
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